How Does Invisalign Work? [The Ultimate Guide]
So you want a straight, gorgeous smile – who doesn’t?
But a mouth full of bulky, uncomfortable metal wires and brackets? Not so much.
Straightening your teeth used to be a huge ordeal, a right of passage for many teens and adults who’ve suffered through awkward years of clunky orthodontics.
That’s what most people assume they’d have to endure to get the smile of their dreams, and why many avoid orthodontic treatment altogether.
Accurate so far?
If so, we’ve got great news for you – Invisalign® treatment has completely changed the orthodontic game.
If you’ve done any research whatsoever on modern orthodontics, you’ve likely already heard of Invisalign…Opens in a new window to Invisalign homepage… and are eager to learn if it’s right for you.
In this ultimate Invisalign guide, we’ll cover:
- What is Invisalign and how does it work?
- Why do people love Invisalign?
- What kind of teeth issues can Invisalign fix?
- What’s the Invisalign process like?
- How many hours a day do you need to wear Invisalign aligners?
- How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Let’s get to it.
What is Invisalign and how does it work?
If you’re still picturing yourself with brace face, stop and throw out everything you thought you knew about the process of straightening your teeth.
Invisalign works through a series of clear aligner trays that gently move your teeth into their proper position.
Each tray is custom designed for your mouth. Every few weeks, you’ll swap out for a new set, moving your teeth ever so slightly with each upgrade.
Why do people love Invisalign?
Here’s the best part:
Invisalign clear aligners are practically invisible – no metal or wires in sight!
Yep. You read that right. No metal.
Here are a few other things people LOVE about Invisalign:
- Discreet: Because the aligners are transparent, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them.
- Removable: Take them out to eat, brush, floss, take photos, and for important events.
- Easy eating: Eat whatever you want, and never worry about getting food stuck in them like traditional fixed braces.
- Fast: In many cases, Invisalign treatment gets results faster than traditional braces. You’ll also need fewer check-up appointments.
- Play sports: Invisalign is great for people who play contact sports, especially with mouthguards. Simply remove the aligners while you play.
In other words, Invisalign is super convenient – you get straight teeth with minimal disruption to your daily life. It’s great for busy people who want straight teeth but don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about their orthodontics.
What kind of teeth issues can Invisalign fix?
Many people incorrectly assume that because Invisalign is so easy, it must not work very well.
Invisalign is highly effective at treating a wide range of orthodontic issues, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
That being said, Invisalign does have some limitations. It can’t treat certain complex cases, and some situations may be better suited to other orthodontic methods.
An orthodontist or qualified Invisalign dentist determines if Invisalign is the right solution for your needs.
What’s the Invisalign process like?
The Invisalign process is surprisingly easy, especially when working with an experienced Invisalign dentist.
Here are the steps you can expect:
1 – Initial consultation
The first step is to meet with your Invisalign dentist. They’ll examine your teeth, discuss your smile goals, and answer any questions.
They’ll also determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, or advise if other solutions might be a better fit for you.
2 – Custom-design your aligners and create a personalized treatment plan
If you and your dentist decide to move forward with Invisalign treatment, next up are digital scans. These are convenient, computerized scans that quickly map out your mouth. They’ll be sent off to an external lab to design your custom-fit aligner trays.
The digital scans also help determine how many aligner trays you’ll need and how long your Invisalign treatment will last. From here, your dentist will outline a full treatment plan to reach your smile goals.
3 – Start treatment
With your new aligners and treatment plan in hand, you’re ready to start straightening your teeth!
You’ll put in your first set of aligners and begin to notice results within a few weeks.
About every two weeks, you’ll simply upgrade to your next set of aligners. By the time you’ve reached the last set, you’ll have a perfectly straight smile ready to show off to the world!
How many hours a day do you need to wear Invisalign aligners?
You’ll need to wear your aligners as often as you can, or at least 20 to 22 hours a day. That means you’ll wear them when you sleep.
Of course, you can always remove them when needed – after all, that’s one of their most amazing features!
However, the more you wear them, the faster and more effective the treatment will be.
If you wear them less than 20 hours a day, your treatment plan may not work as expected. Your teeth may even shift back into place, undoing all your hard work.
How long does Invisalign treatment take?
Each person’s treatment plan is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all timeline. Some treatments are as short as six months, while others need a year or more to reach their goals.
The good news is that because Invisalign is so convenient, time flies during your treatment, and the results are absolutely worth it.
With a little patience, you’ll have a straight smile in no time.
Ready for Invisalign treatment in Durham, NC?
Our team of cosmetic dentistry experts has helped thousands of happy people makeover their smiles, and we’d love to do the same for you.
Check out our gallery to see real patient before and after photos – the results speak for themselves!
Schedule a no-obligation Invisalign consultation with us today.
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